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What Are the Different Types of Laboratory Supplies?

A scientist holds a laboratory flask, while a small beaker filled with blue liquid sits in front.
Safety equipment such as gloves, masks and glasses are necessary laboratory supplies.
The microscope, which allows for viewing of microscopic objects, is considered a key tool in many types of scientific laboratories, especially those related biology.
Supplies can vary greatly depending on the type of work done in the laboratory.
A laboratory is usually equipped with microscopes.
A Bunsen burner.
Laboratory supplies may include a hot plate for experiments.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2014
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There are numerous types of laboratories. These include those used for forensics, medical analysis, and research and development. Since different types of testing require different equipment, laboratory supplies can greatly vary. Some items, however, can be considered common in laboratories, including computers, microscopes, and Bunsen burners.

Most modern laboratories have computers. One of the main reasons for this is that many tasks once done manually are now done with various types of technology, making many processes faster and more efficient. The computers in all laboratories are not the same. Generally, each type of laboratory’s computers will be equipped with software relevant to a particular field.

Microscopes are also common laboratory supplies. A microscope is a tool that allows things to be analyzed in greater detail. Some microscopes are so powerful they can analyze small structures such as cells. Many types of laboratories need these tools. Some, however, require microscopes that are much more powerful than others.

Beakers, vials, and flasks are examples of common laboratory glassware. There is a wide range of uses for these laboratory supplies. These items are often used to measure, mix, and boil items such as chemical concoctions, blood, or various specimens. Standard glassware may be purchased, but in many cases, laboratories need specialized glass equipment, which may need to be made to suit the tasks.

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Hot plates and Bunsen burners are common laboratory supplies. These items provide sources of heat. The difference between them is that a Bunsen burner uses gas to provide an open flame. A hot plate generally uses electricity to provide a heated surface.

Various paper items are also important in laboratories. To laypersons, these items may seems small and insignificant, but they are often essential laboratory supplies. Filter papers, for example, are generally thin pieces of material that facilitate the separation of solids and liquids. The acidity or identity of substances is often confirmed with small, thin strips of testing paper that changes colors.

In laboratories, safety is essential. Many of the items and substances handled in laboratories have the potential to be very dangerous. This means that proper safety equipment is important. A good example is fire extinguishers. These are not the same in every laboratory because the type of fire extinguisher needed depends on the type of fire.

Good labeling habits are an important part of laboratory safety. To maintain good habits it is necessary to have an abundance of laboratory supplies for this purpose. This includes labels, permanent and temporary ink markers, and crayon markers that can write on laboratory glassware.

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